British manufacturers of garden buildings and structures are reporting an increase in interest from foreign markets from customers seeking British design, construction and craftmanship.
The Posh Shed Company, which creates handcrafted sheds and garden storage solutions at its workshops in Herefordshire, has been trading for ten years and custom from Europe has reached its highest volumes in the past 12 months.
The company has created and shipped sheds to Germany, Switzerland and Italy to customers wanting a reminder of home.
Richard Frost, founder of The Posh Shed Company, commented: “Enquiries from customers abroad has notably picked up in recent months. We’ve been to some beautiful settings for installation – a definite highlight was a trip to the Piemonte region of Italy where one of our bespoke creations now sits poolside with stunning views over the valley below. Shipping and installation is not a problem and we ensure Posh Shed experts from our Hereford team visit each customer to install the item.”
Similarly, Griffin Glasshouses, which has been creating beautifully handmade glasshouses for more than 50 years, is also enjoying its greatest success yet in overseas markets. This year alone, Griffin has received orders from the USA, Italy, France and Sweden, having previously installed in France, Norway, Ireland, Austria and Italy. Griffin also insist of using their own team who are familiar with the precision required. Every aspect of the glasshouse, including the glass itself, and the power tools needed for the erection, are packed into wooden crates and delivered direct to the site so the Griffin Glasshouses team can begin work immediately.
Linda Lane, managing director of Griffin Glasshouses, attributes this success to a demand for quintessentially British design, and people being prepared to pay a premium for the quality of structure: “These are not low-cost items so are a big consideration for people; the average price for four of our recent export glasshouses is in excess of £40,000. Two main factors are influencing overseas sales – the first is the quality of the build which, customers say, cannot be replicated in their home markets. The second is their love of the Victorian style of our structures”.
For both companies, the RHS Flower Shows are a key time for meeting new oversees customers. Richard continued: “Summer shows attract customers from far and wide and a definitely a great platform for us to showcase our products to those who travel to the UK specifically for the show. We’re often asked if we have a showroom for our Posh Sheds but with eleven standard designs and hundreds of different variations, we’d need a really big space! Thankfully, shows provide us with a great opportunity to show off all our products and for customers to come and chat with us and discuss their specific requirements, including how we can arrange installation abroad.”